How to Make a Wanted Poster for a Villain in a Novel

Written by kristy ambrose
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How to Make a Wanted Poster for a Villain in a Novel
Virtually any literary character can be the subject of a wanted poster. (wanted!reward 1000000$ image by Alexey Klementiev from

The antagonist in literature may be the character you love to hate, but the story wouldn't be much without them. A wanted poster is one way to study such a character because it would include most of his vital statistics, motivations, background and a likeness. Famous villains from Westerns are obvious, as the Old West was the time of the wanted poster, but you can make a wanted poster for virtually any literary character from any genre.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Large piece of white poster board (colour is optional, off-white or beige may also suffice)
  • Coloured markers
  • scissors (optional)
  • tape or glue for securing the portrait portion (optional, only needed if you aren't drawing directly on to the poster board)
  • photocopier (optional)
  • printer (optional)
  • computer with Internet connection (optional)

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  1. 1

    Find or create a picture that is the likeness of your villain. Most famous villains have appeared in print somewhere. If your villain is an animal, like Moby Dick or Shere Khan, this is easier. Paste the picture in the centre of the poster board, or draw the picture yourself.

  2. 2

    Title your poster with the word "WANTED" at the top, above the picture. Leave enough space between the title word and the poster to list the villain's various crimes. These can also be listed underneath the picture as a matter of preference.

  3. 3

    Determine what your villain is wanted for. This may be more obvious in some cases then others. In the case of Claudius from Hamlet, for example, "regicide" and "adultery" are appropriate. For a character like Scrooge, the crimes might be more vague, like "harassing carolers," "nephew abuse" or "gratuitous use of the term 'Humbug.'"

  4. 4

    List a description of the villain, including last known whereabouts, hideouts, aliases or sidekicks. Gollum might be found lurking near water in the company of two travelling hobbits. The White Witch of Narnia, also known as Jadis, can be found travelling in a sleigh in the company of wayward children.

  5. 5

    Include details of a reward, or whether the villain is wanted dead or alive. This might depend on the outcome of the novel. Many villains do not escape from the story alive.

  6. 6

    Choose fonts depending on the look you want your poster to have. Old west posters use angular types like serif or Times New Roman. Keep your colours to a minimum of two or three simple shades like grey or brown if you want your poster to have a more rustic look.

Tips and warnings

  • To try something different, try to be creative and think like a villain and make a wanted poster for your protagonist. For example, imagine a wanted poster for Frodo Baggins or Huckleberry Finn. If you have a computer and printer, you can also make a wanted poster online with a poster template using a photgraph or scanned image.
  • If you choose to use a computer, you'll need proper software and adequate processor speed to properly manipulate images and photos. Sometimes trial or freeware versions are missing key components of the software.

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